The Red Lily Crown
A Novel of Medici Florence
By Elizabeth Loupas
(NAL Trade, Paperback, 9780451418876, 448pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
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Elizabeth Loupas returns with her most ambitious historical novel yet, a story of intrigue, passion, and murder in the Medici Court...
April, 1574, Florence, Italy. Grand Duke Cosimo de’ Medici lies dying. The city is paralyzed with dread, for the next man to wear the red lily crown will be Prince Francesco: despotic, dangerous, and obsessed with alchemy.
Chiara Nerini, the troubled daughter of an anti-Medici bookseller, sets out to save her starving family by selling her dead father’s rare alchemical equipment to the prince. Instead she is trapped in his householdimprisoned and forcibly initiated as a virgin acolyte in Francesco’s quest for power and immortality. Undaunted, she seizes her chance to pursue undreamed-of power of her own.
Witness to sensuous intrigues and brutal murder plots, Chiara seeks a safe path through the labyrinth of Medici tyranny and deception. Beside her walks the prince’s mysterious English alchemist Ruanno, her friend and teacher, driven by his own dark goals. Can Chiara trust him to keep her secrets even to love her or will he prove to be her most treacherous enemy of all?
Elizabeth Loupas held various positions in radio and television, and worked as an editor, writer, and marketing consultant. She holds degrees in literary studies and library/information science. She lives with her husband and two beagles. She is the author of The Second Duchess and The Flower Reader.
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Praise for The Red Lily Crown
“Machiavelli meets The Brothers Grimm: a dark fairy tale with the addictive allure of a poison dream. Renaissance Florence springs to life in all its gorgeous, treacherous glory when a brave street urchin finds herself neck deep in Medici blood-lust. A dash of magic, a maze of murder, a heroine to root for, and a villain who needs to die--this is historical fiction at its most compelling.”—Kate Quinn, author of The Serpent and the Pearl and The Lion and the Rose
“Brings to life all the brutality, deception, and glamour of one of history’s most intoxicating eras. I could not put it down!”—C.W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow
“Elizabeth Loupas works her own particular alchemy on her readers as she brings the heady elements of the Medici court to life—fascinating!”—Marina Fiorato, author of The Botticelli Secret and The Venetian Secret
“You will race through this book and then find yourself wishing it did not have to end.”—Sophie Perinot, author of The Sister Queens
“I'm enthralled by the world evoked in The Red Lily Crown: the magnificent, dangerous and deeply amoral court of the Medici in late 16th century Florence. And I fell in love with Chiara, a spunky alchemist's daughter…. A deliciously decadent page-turner.”—Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown and The Chalice
Praise for the novels of Elizabeth Loupas
“Effortlessly evokes the dangerous glamour of Renaissance Italy…spellbinding”—The Chicago Tribune
"Thick with intrigue and spiced with scandal, The Flower Reader is a lush, vibrant tapestry of a book.”—Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Enquiry
“The historical mystery at the heart of this excellent novel kept me turning pages late into the night even as I admonished myself to slow down and savor the feast for the senses laid out on each page.”—Brenda Rickman Vantrease, author of The Heretic’s Wife
“This novel was completely mesmerizing and captivating…The writing style is masterful, creating a novel that was suspenseful, complex, and peopled with quirky and difficult characters.” —San Francisco Book Review
"Rich in historical detail and all the dangerous grandeur of court life in Renaissance Italy." —C.S. Harris, author of the Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery series
“I look forward to Elizabeth Loupas’s next book.”—Historical Novels Review (Editor’s Choice)